Fuels America held a press conference on April 17, 2013 to highlight sustainability improvements from farm to fiber to fuel. During the press call farmers and ethanol industry experts gave a briefing on the increased sustainability measures taken in renewable fuel production from farm to fuel tank.
Participants of the call included Fred Yoder, farmer and past president of the National Corn Growers Association, Jan Koninkx, business director for biofuels with DuPont and Adam Monroe, president of Novozymes North America.
Audio of the full press conference can be downloaded from the link below.
Get Your Green on with Biofuels
Leaders from the Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC) held a press conference Wednesday (4/17/13) to highlight the crucial stake American agriculture has in immigration reform. Late last week, a landmark agreement on immigration reform was reached by the AWC, the United Farm Workers (UFW), and key Senators.
Participating in the news conference were National Council of Farmer Cooperatives president Chuck Conner, National Milk Producers president Jerry Kozak, Western Growers Association president Tom Nassif, United Fresh Produce Association president Tom Stenzel, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association president Mike Stuart, U.S. Apple Association president Nancy Foster, and United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez.
Audio of the full press conference can be downloaded from the link below.
AWC press conference
The new senior Agricultural Counselor to the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator held a conference call Tuesday (4/16/13) to discuss her background and her role as an advisor at EPA on ways environmental policy may impact growers and the greater agriculture community. Sarah Bittleman accepted the new position with EPA in February after serving Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as USDA Senior Advisor on energy policy.
Bittleman admits that there is a problem of trust when it comes to farmers and ranchers and the EPA. “My job is to restore some of that trust,” she said, noting that it might be improved by working more closely with USDA, conservation districts and state departments of agriculture that have a better relationship with producers. “By partnering with these other folks who work so closely with agriculture, we can little by little grow a base of increased and better trust relationships.”
Sarah Bittleman, EPA Ag Counselor
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood officially extended for five years an agreement between USDA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help develop viable biofuels for the aviation industry. The two secretaries signed the agreement Monday (4/15/13) at the Advanced Biofuels Summit at Gaylord National Harbor in Maryland.
Vilsack and LaHood held a press availability after the signing where questions about the agreement were addressed, as well as increased attacks on the Renewable Fuel Standard, the importance of aviation biofuels, and more.
Vilsack and LaHood press avail
Members of Growth Energy are on Capitol Hill this week to meet with legislators regarding the benefits of the ethanol industry. In particular, participants will discuss the value of E15, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the issues surrounding Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). The Growth Energy leadership team, CEO Tom Buis, and Co-Chairmen of the Board General (Ret.) Wesley Clark and Jeff Broin (POET) held a brief press call on Wednesday (4/10/13) to discuss their efforts on the hill.
Growth Energy 4/10/13 press conference
Elanco is investing approximately $100 million to purchase a minority equity stake in China Animal Healthcare Ltd., one of the leading players in the animal health industry in the People’s Republic of China. The investment expands Elanco’s commitment to China, with the goal of providing innovative, safety-enhancing food production solutions to help meet the growing food demands and nutritional needs of the Chinese people. The parties have agreed to a framework to allow for future commercial collaboration activities.
“At Elanco, we are committed to providing innovative solutions to enhance food production and companion animal care. In China, we are working with local stakeholders to improve the health and performance of animals and help to ensure a growing supply of safe, affordable and abundant food,” said Jeff Simmons, president, Elanco. “Our sizable financial investment in China Animal Healthcare builds on our long-term commitment to China. By working with local stakeholders, together, we can make a real difference in the lives of the Chinese people.”
Elanco Press Conference
The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a farm bill proposal to Capitol Hill this week that offers a diverse mix of risk management and safety net tools to benefit a wide range of farms and it saves $23 billion compared to the cost of continuing the current program.
“We’ve tried to look at providing farmers a three-legged safety net stool where every farmer would have crop insurance and marketing loans available to them,” said Congressional Relations Director Mary Kay Thatcher. The third leg would let farmers choose between a modified STAX (stacked income protection) provision, or a target price program.
Thatcher says the plan approved by the FB board over the weekend saves 23-billion over the current bill – the same as the senate bill last year.
Interview with Mary Kay Thatcher of AFBF
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke to the North American Agricultural Journalists annual meeting on April 8, covering a variety of important issues, including immigration and getting a new food, farm and jobs bill.
“I believe we will have a bill this year because we have to have a bill this year,” Vilsack said, noting the need to resolve issues such as Brazil’s WTO case against the cotton program. As to when it gets done – “I don’t know when Congress is going to act,” said the secretary. “I know what the ag chairs have said and that is that they’re anxious to get started now.”
Listen to his full remarks and Q&A from reporters here: Secretary Vilsack at NAAJ
An effort to repeal the Catfish Inspection Program that was included in the 2008 Farm Bill apparently has widespread support in Congress and with a variety of agricultural companies and organizations. National Fisheries Institute spokesperson Gavin Gibbons says the program has already proven to be a waste of taxpayer dollars. “If you look at the Government Accountability Report for the catfish inspection program, it notes that over the last 4-5 years, USDA has spent $20 million on the program and has not inspected a single catfish,” he said.
Find out more at RepealCatfish.com.
Interview with Gavin Gibbons, National Fisheries Institute
Nufarm Americas, a major manufacturer of crop protection products, has named two new members of its leadership team.
Andrew Seitz has been named Executive Vice President, Ag Sales. Seitz joined Nufarm in 2010 and previously served as Director of Business Development and Marketing Manager, Ag. Previously, Seitz worked in marketing roles at Valent and Bayer CropScience and in sales and marketing for Aventis and Rhone-Poulenc.
He holds a degree from Western Michigan University.
Ron Schinnour has joined Nufarm Americas as Executive Vice President, Marketing and Strategic Planning. Most recently, Schinnour served as VP of Agribusiness for United Farmers of Alberta, (UFA) in Canada. Previously, he held several senior positions with Monsanto including Divisional CFO and Operations Lead; Director Strategy and Operations; VP of Strategic Accounts; and General Manager of Latin America North.
Schinnour holds a Masters in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis and is a Certified Management Accountant.
Both Schinnour and Seitz are located in the Morrisville, North Carolina office of Nufarm Americas.
National Ag Day activities took place in Washington, DC in various locations including an evening banquet at USDA. You’ll find links to plenty of audio and photos from all the events.
The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) will host National Agriculture Day on March 19, 2013. This will mark the 40th anniversary of National Ag Day which is celebrated in classrooms and communities across the country. The theme for Ag Day 2013 is “Generations Nourishing Generations.”
National Ag Day is organized by the Agriculture Council of America. ACA is a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community, dedicating its efforts to increasing the public’s awareness of agriculture’s role in modern society.
2013 National Ag Day Activities Photo Album
Ag Day Agvocates - Troy/Bobbie Uglem & Teresa Scanlan
Interview with Chris Galen, USFRA Board Member
Interview with Katie Pratt, Faces of Farming
Whitney Bowman Ag Day Essay Winner
BCS Communications Ag Day Sponsor
U.S. Ag Secretary Vilsack Remarks
Interview with Congressman Frank Lucas
USFRA Ag Day Educational Session
Farm to Fork Politics Session
Interview with Dr. J.B. Penn
Interview with B. Hudson Riehle
Interview with Dr. Keith Collins
Interview with ASTA's Andy Lavigne
Interview with Barry Nelson, ACA Chair
Sequester is scheduled to take effect on March 1 and so far Congress has made no effort to prevent the across the board spending cuts from taking place. I talked with GROWMARK government affairs director Chuck Spencer to find out more about this monster called Sequester.
Listen to my interview with Spencer here: Chuck Spencer, GROWMARK